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How to Prevent a Fire in a Work Environment

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A few simple steps on how to prevent a fire in your work environment

Fires are one of the biggest dangers that occur in work environments. The results are more often than not very severe; resulting in catastrophic damage to your work place, the environment and to your business. The most severe risk though, is the high risk of death in the occurrence of a fire in a work environment. In line with our previous article; “Five Step Fire Risk Assessment”, this article will guide you in identifying hazards in the work environment and how you should deal with them. Allowing you to ensure your workplace is as fire safe as possible. Firstly, risks must be identified and managed. A risk is more of a risk if it is left unidentified, so therefore it is absolutely paramount that any risks are not left undiscovered. According to the HSE (Health & Safety Executive), the way to begin is; “to walk around your workplace and look for any hazards – a hazard is anything that may cause harm. Then think about the risks – a risk is the chance, high or low, of somebody being harmed by the hazard, and how serious the harm could be.Fire HazardSo, a walk around your workplace is a good place to start. It is advisable to walk around your workplace with another member of staff, as sometimes some risks may be more obvious to another person; it always pays to have more than one pair of eyes when it comes to spotting risks. Once a risk has been identified, you need to ask yourself what you are doing to manage the risk and how can it be prevented altogether? If complete prevention is possible, then the correct prevention measures should be enforced to ensure no harm is caused to you or your staff. Any risks that are identified should be recorded in a log and all staff made aware of them. It is also essential when managing a risk to think if any members of your staff are particularly vulnerable, such as; new employees, any elderly staff or anyone with a disability. If you are unsure as to whether you have staff that qualify as vulnerable, please see the HSE guide to “Diversity in the Workplace”. Unfortunately, sometimes a break out of fire occurs before the risk has been identified. In this case it is essential that an appropriate fire management system is in place to ensure the safety of you and your staff. This includes ensuring all members of staff are aware of all the safety exits and any evacuation routine, which should cater for all members of staff. If you are unsure if your workplace is up to the required level in risk management, why not give Island Fire Protection a call? Our experts will advise you on how to make your workplace as fire-proof as possible; as well as offering you advice on equipment maintenance or even carry out an inspection of your work-place. Photo credit: four12 via photopin cc
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